Rouhani claims US ‘humiliated’ in snapback sanctions gambit

Written by on September 22, 2020

“This is a victory not only for Iran but for the international community that an aspirant of hegemony is humiliated in such self-created isolation,” Rouhani said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during the cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, March 4, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during the cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, March 4, 2020

(photo credit: REUTERS)

The US embarrassed itself in trying to trigger snapback sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in his address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

“This is a victory not only for Iran, but for the international community that an aspirant of hegemony is humiliated in such self-created isolation,” Rouhani said.

A month ago, the US announced that it is initiating “snapback sanctions,” reversing the “sunset clauses” of the world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The sunset clauses lift existing UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic, starting with a conventional arms embargo in October. The snapback would mean that the arms embargo will be renewed, even though the UN Security Council voted against it.

Other parties to the JCPOA argue that the US does not have the authority to invoke snapback sanctions because it pulled out of the JCPOA in 2018, while the US argues that the mechanism is part of UNSC Resolution 2231, which specifically lists the US as a participant that is able to trigger the sanctions mechanism.

Rouhani called the JCPOA “one of the great accomplishments of the history of diplomacy,” and claimed that Iran “remains in compliance with it despite the violations of the US.”

“Such a nation does not deserve sanctions,” he added.

Iran has long been in violation of the JCPOA, and has had enough uranium to make a nuclear weapon since March. The regime stockpiled more than five times as much as permitted by the JCPOA, and has enriched it past the nuclear deal’s 3.65% limit, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency report released earlier this year. Iran also refused to allow IAEA inspectors to visit suspected nuclear sites this summer.

Rouhani said that the US “maximum pressure” sanctions “targeted… health, welfare, sustenance and even the right to life of all Iranians.”

As for US President Donald Trump’s talk of negotiating a new, better Iran deal if he is reelected, Rouhani said: “We are not a bargaining chip in US elections and domestic policy. The US can impose neither negotiations nor war on us.”

Rouhani also compared footage of a police officer murdering African-American George Floyd by kneeling on his neck to “the feet of [American] arrogance on the neck of independent nations.”

Rouhani also mentioned Israel in his speech, in the form of the Iranian proposal to hold a vote to deny Jews of their right to self-determination, which he called “a democratic solution through referendum in Palestine.”

In an oblique reference to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain making peace with Israel, Rouhani said: “We never ignore occupation, genocide, forced displacement and racism in Palestine, and we never made a deal over the holy Quds” – meaning Jerusalem – “and the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.”

Trump only briefly referred to Iran in his address to the UN, saying: “We withdrew from the terrible Iran nuclear deal and imposed crippling sanctions on the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.”

Trump also mentioned that the US “eliminated the world’s top terrorist,” Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, who was responsible for Iran’s proxy warfare.

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